The Yanliao rift zone in the northern North China Craton (NCC) is the location of the standard section for late Paleoproterozoic–Mesoproterozoic stratigraphy in China and is associated with the emplacement of large volumes of diabase sills. Detailed field investigations show that the sills are distributed over a region that is >600 km long and >200 km wide, with areal extent >1.2×105 km2 and cumulative thickness of the sills in any one area ranging from 50 m to >1800 m. High-resolution secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) baddeleyite dating shows that emplacement of these sills occurred between about 1330 and 1305 Ma with a peak age of 1323 Ma. Emplacement of these diabase sills was accompanied by pre-magmatic uplift that started at about 1.35–1.34 Ga as indicated by the disconformity between the Changlongshan and Xiamaling formations and absence of sedimentation after the Xiamaling Formation in some areas. All the diabase sills exhibit similar geochemical features of tholeiitic compositions with intraplate characteristics. Given a relatively short duration of emplacement at 1.33–1.30 Ga, along with the large areal extent and volume, as well as intraplate character, this magmatic province constitutes a large igneous province (LIP). This Yanliao LIP and the accompanying pre-magmatic uplift were related either to a mantle plume and/or continental rifting during breakup of the NCC from the Nuna (Columbia) supercontinent. Paleomagnetic, ash bed and LIP data and other geological constraints suggest that the NCC had a close connection with Siberia, Laurentia, Baltica, North Australia and India crustal blocks. In particular, the most direct age match between the 1.33–1.30 Ga Yanliao LIP and the 1.33–1.30 Ga Derim Derim–Galiwinku LIP of the North Australian Craton (NAC), as well as the similarities between the late Paleoproterozoic–Mesoproterozoic stratigraphic units of the Yanliao rift in the NCC with the southeastern McArthur Basin in the NAC, indicate that the Yanliao and Derim Derim–Galiwinku events are fragmented parts of the same LIP, supporting the paleomagnetically plausible idea that the NCC and NAC were connected (or at least near neighbors) during the early Mesoproterozoic period.

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Keywords continental breakup, diabase sill swarm, large igneous province, North China Craton, Nuna (Columbia) supercontinent, pre-magmatic uplift
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Journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters
Zhang, S.-H. (Shuan-Hong), Zhao, Y. (Yue), Li, X.-H. (Xian-Hua), Ernst, R.E, & Yang, Z.-Y. (Zhen-Yu). (2017). The 1.33–1.30 Ga Yanliao large igneous province in the North China Craton: Implications for reconstruction of the Nuna (Columbia) supercontinent, and specifically with the North Australian Craton. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 465, 112–125. doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2017.02.034